The OpenOffice.org project is a large open-source effort to create a complete office "suite" including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing software, database, and much more. With OpenOffice.org, users can easily import, edit, and exchange files with users of other office programs, such as Microsoft Office or WordPerfect.
While OpenOffice.org is developed primarily for Windows and Unix systems and has a user-interface geared for those operating systems, NeoOffice has made tremendous breakthroughs in offering the same office features to Macintosh users while making the program look and interact more like a Mac application.
How does it do this? NeoOffice replaces OpenOffice.org code that (formerly) used the X11 windowing system with Cocoa and Java code (leveraging Mac OS X's cool Java integration with Aqua) to provide traditional Macintosh user-interface elements. The result? An office experience that feels more like other Mac applications.
At least that's the goal. At present, NeoOffice has integrated dozens of native Mac features, including many not found in Sun’s version of OpenOffice.org. It's probably localized into your native language, too.
Best of all, NeoOffice is remarkably stable, and its code has been in daily use since 2003. It's actually ready to use right now. Thousands of people and organizations use NeoOffice to do their daily work!
Here's a caveat though—while NeoOffice is quite stable and feature-complete, it has not entirely adopted the Mac look-and-feel. There are still some bits of the old Windows/Unix interface in there. For example, the toolbars and dialogues don't look exactly like those in other Mac applications. Some of the more than 12,000 icons used in the application may look more like Windows icons than Mac ones. Other bits of the interface may look "just a bit off".
If you have any problems, a list of suggested steps for finding an answer for a problem as fast as possible is available on the official NeoOffice Support page.
While NeoOffice is free, our very limited donations only provides enough funding for one full-time engineer and one part-time support technician and we must fit all NeoOffice software development, bug fixing, and support tasks into our available time. Because the development and bug fixing tasks use up a significant portion of our available time, we can only answer problems posted by our most generous donors.